Dream Big & Buy The Shoes

April 4, 2017

March Favorites

April...already?! I LOVE this time of the year...birds chirping, sun shining and happiness all around. One of the best parts of every month is rounding up my favorites to share with you. There are so many good things out there that you may miss otherwise...so let's jump right in.
Favorite Recipe: I've become much better at having something for breakfast other than just coffee...my go to is a nutritional shake, but these Easy Eggs In A Mug from Dash of Herbs look really tasty and like I always love...super easy!

Favorite Beauty Post: Cara's beauty posts are definitely ones I enjoy and love how awesome she breaks everything down and her post Color Correcting 101 is another great example.

Favorite Personal Discovery: I enjoy challenging myself and hope to continue doing it. I used to LOVE going to hot yoga and haven't in years. I knew it was going to be a little difficult since I'm not very active in yoga but I loved going back.
A post shared by emeliaπŸ–€ (@emeliaanne_) on

Favorite Good Message: Posts that are about bettering yourself, that are inspirational or share a good message are always a good pick me up that should be discussed. Ashley from Little Lovelies talked about the real reason to love your body and I couldn't agree more. It's important to always be a good role model, you never know who's listening or watching you.

Favorite Purchase: Guys, so many people don't know...but TOMS makes shoes that aren't just flats. I have an amazing pair of wedge booties I love to rock in the fall and winter and now I found these loves from Nordstrom.

Favorite Parent Help Post: Preparing kids for the real world is SO necessary and My So Called Chaos did a great job of sharing how, even if you don't have children of your own...you can help.

Favorite Spring Post: Spring cleaning...call me crazy, but I  L O V E it!! These homemade cleaning recipes and awesome ultimate spring cleaning list are musts. I love the tips and thoroughness of it all...that's me and my OCD kicking in again ;)

Favorite Moment:

Favorite Travel Post: Well, if you like Bloody Mary's this is a good one for you. The A-Lyst took charge of a hard job ;) and rounded up her top picks for this delicious drink all around Boston.

Favorite Instagram Find: Kara always has the cutest party themes and I would love to have a reason to throw this fiesta....maybe some Taco Tuesday.

My Favorite Dream Big posts in March:
A Non-Sponsored Home Chef Review

I hope you enjoy hopping around the web and checking out these links as much as I did.
Any requests for posts this month? I have some travel and beauty things scheduled and may find
a DIY to share...it's been too long.

Hope you're having a great start to the month...xo!

April 3, 2017

Recent Beauty Buys

I may have an addiction to purchasing beauty products, but it's kind of a necessity, right?! Look good, feel good is my motto and I love playing with new products and finding out what works for me. Between Sephora, Ulta and Target I've scooped up some great things lately and want to share them all with you.
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Cream- I've heard about this product for far too long and had never purchased it. I was browsing Ulta last month and saw it in stock so I picked some up and am kicking myself for not doing it earlier. I am very self conscious about my skin due to some scarring I have. My esthetician says it's not nearly as bad as I make it out to be, but it's something that bothers me since it's a result of a bad acne breakout the day of my mom's funeral. As if attending her funeral wasn't traumatic enough, I woke up with a face full of pimples. It was awful and I fought with my skin for years and even now it reacts to stress in the worst ways.
Anyways- I wish I would have bought this a long time ago, but really the reason I didn't was because I hadn't used anything from the It Cosmetics brand. I put it on after primer and before foundation and it really makes my skin look so much better. I'm using less foundation these days and feeling a lot better about my face with this gem in a jar.
Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil- Pussy Control- I saw this Lilac color in Sephora and had to have it. I know, after revealing that I own over 50 lip products I found a Sephora gift card in my wallet- so when it's free, it doesn't count...right?! I continued to walk around and Chuck saw I was holding another lipstick and then I saw the name and we both lost it. A total must after that. I love these Nars  lip pencils and own a few others- Yu is another must have color- the prettiest bright pink.
Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara- Target does it again. For real. Only $5 and this has become one of my drugstore favorites. I hadn't even heard of this brand until I walked down an aisle and it caught my eye. I layer it with either the Dior Iconic Overcurl Mascara I raved about a few months ago or Better Than Sex from Too Faced and love the result. It's an awesome buy that gives a great voluminous look for your lashes.

Benefit Erase Paste- this is a brightening concealer which is always a blessing considering dark circles can be a frequent thing #morebagsthankatespade under these eyes some days. I just used it for the first time on Friday and like it so far, but think I need some more time to play with it to get it just right. I didn't apply it with a concealer brush, and not sure if that would be better or worse. So far so good though...I've heard from a ton of people on this Insta post that they swear by it.

Sephora Collection Brush Cleansing Pad- shopping at a huge Sephora store, not like the one in my local mall that's inside a JCPenney is so dangerous. We went to Pittsburgh to do some shopping and of course had to stop at Sephora and I could have spent hours in there. I love the big assortment that the Sephora Collection offers and the price point is always awesome.
I had my eyes on the Sigma brush cleaning mat and didn't want to spend $25 so when I saw this for $14 I thought I would give it a try. Before this I was using a BrushEgg which worked awesome, but this Sehora pad makes cleaning even easier. Ladies- you should be cleaning your brushes weekly and this pad cleansing pad will definitely help with that. If you're just using your fingers now- spend the $14 and invest in this pad for sure.
And today we can announce the winner from the $75 Sephora or Ulta gift card giveaway. This lucky lady will also be receiving a bunch of my must have products- I'm talking GlamGlow, BECCA highlighter, Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara and more. Sorry if you missed the giveaway--but I also talked about my favorite lip colors for Spring, so check that out and find out if you're the lucky one today!

Before I wrap this up I want to say THANK YOU for all of your kind words from my post on Friday about balancing it all lately and have decided I'm going to work on some things so that I can be more productive, calmer and more in love with life all around. First, waking up 15 minutes earlier each day for a week...maybe two...then 30 minutes earlier the week after and so on until I can get in a routine to knock some things out in the morning and have a more focused start to my day.
Also, from now until most likely Fall I'm going to be posting only two days on the blog. I know some people do seven...and I was feeling great with three, but I need to align my priorities and while I still love this space so much it does take a lot of work. I need to work on some more personal things first and foremost like getting healthy and happy again, and once those things are set I can add more to my plate again.
I am really excited to see what happens and hopefully it helps me balance everything with less anxiety and stress. I was even thinking of assigning certain things to certain days of the week- like responding to comments on one day, doing laundry another. Am I too OCD? Ha!

Tomorrow Macy and I are sharing our monthly favorites, goals, accomplishments or whatever you would like to share on that area and hope you will join us! I hope you all have a great start to the week and enjoy the sunshine!

What have you purchased recently that you're L O V I N G?!

March 31, 2017

I'm Having Trouble Balancing It All

I didn't plan on writing a post today, but then I was straightening my hair last night and had a thought. I'm tired. I feel overwhelmed. I feel stressed...and I think it's all coming from having trouble balancing everything going on.
I really had trouble typing that title out and don't want to come off as complaining, because at the end of the day I'm really lucky to live the life I do but I feel like something has to give. I've been saying forever that I need to get on a regular exercise schedule and move every day. I can't tell you the last time I consciously worked out. That's awful and part of why I'm unhappy. 

I haven't been reading as much as I was a few months ago, and I was really enjoying how many books I was diving in to and sharing them here on the blog. I'm lucky if I read two chapters a day now...usually I'm falling asleep mid sentence.

I feel like my blog is slacking and as always, my pictures could be better. My sweet husband bought me this photography book for Christmas...in 2015. I haven't picked it up more than once. He did it in an effort for me to learn more things and play with the camera. All I do is get frustrated and give up because there's many more things I think I could be doing like a load of laundry or sorting mail. 

Are you sick of me whining yet? Honestly, I don't know how most of you do it. I know it always looks different from the outside, but you women who are putting up blog posts at 5 am staying fit and working and eating good and hanging out with friends for dinner...high five. I'm lucky if I make it out of the door on time lately, and don't even talk to me if I haven't had at least 7.5 hours of sleep.

I miss reading 20 blogs every night and commenting and not having to worry about the fact that I haven't even began to answer blog comments from last week...let alone this week. I just want to come to this space and feel like I'm doing enough...creating a community where people are happy and inspired to do something they love and be themselves. Today, I'm probably not inspiring anyone. I'm sorry for that, but sometimes I just need to get it off my chest. 

Maybe I need to prioritize some things in my life or take a break from some things (ahem, Social Media). I mean, I spent an hour tonight reading Facebook updates and watching Snapchats before beginning to dry my hair--that's just bad.

I'm sorry for the sob session today, but maybe you can help me. How do you balance it all? Do you ever feel SUPER overwhelmed? Please tell me I'm not crazy.

In better news...I'm attending a Mac and Cheese competition this weekend and plan on eating every noodle in sight (probably not helping that balance, but oh well!). Hope you all have a wonderful weekend--thanks for letting me vent today!

March 29, 2017

An Non-Sponsored Home Chef Review

It was after I received a few Home Chef coupons in the mail and my e-mail inbox that I finally decided to get online and see what this home delivery meal plan was all about. After trying Blue Apron a few years ago and not being too thrilled I was a little hesitant to shell out money on something underwhelming.
The coupon was a pretty good deal so I thought we would try it out. Long story short, a month later we are still loving Home Chef. This post has not been sponsored in any way...but that would be nice because free food is always good ;) . 

I just said to Chuck last week, we haven't had a bad meal yet! Actually, we have pretty much loved every single one and the variety they offer. The portions are pretty perfect- just enough food for the both of us, the meals come with sides and the recipes are easy to follow and help you prep in enough time too.

The first meals we received were the Sirloin Steak with Blue Cheese Compound Butter and Farmhouse Fried Chicken.

how does home chef work

home chef review
I won't lie, the first time I tried green beans was this first Home Chef meal. I thought to myself- you will not waste money and not try this food...so I did, and I really liked them. I enjoyed that Home Chef also pushed my a little outside my comfort zone.

The next delivery was Korean Pork Medallions, Pulled Ranch Chicken Sandwiches and Strawberry Colada Smoothies. The Pulled Ranch Chicken Sandwiches was by far our favorite meal- we both loved every part of it. It had some heat to it and those potato wedges were divine.
The medallions were another top choice for meal- so juicy and a lot of taste and coleslaw I could eat almost any day.
delicious home chef meals

is home chef worth it
The Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops and Classic Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo were some more everyday meals, but we still enjoyed them very much. The nice thing about these meals is the recipe cards that come with them, so that we can recreate them on our own in the future.
home delivery meals

home chef meals
We didn't pay full price for a single delivery thanks to codes I found online and coupons e-mailed to me. There's a variety of meals you can choose from and add-on's you can pick like breakfast, fruit baskets and smoothies. Each meal is $9.95 per serving unless it says otherwise online, which isn't bad if you think about how much you can spend at the grocery store or eating out. 
We tried Blue Apron a few years ago, and Home Chef definitely wins over them- 100%! Overall, I would highly recommend them if you are looking for some new dinner options.

If you would like to try it out I have a code for $30 off your order--try it out here. Enjoy!

Have you ever tried a home delivery meal service?